Ohio Makes $150 Million Available for Water Treatment After Toledo Emergency

Flickr.com photo of algae in Lake Erie by Ohio DNR/NOAA
Flickr.com photo of algae in Lake Erie by Ohio DNR/NOAA
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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is making more than $150 million in grants and loans available for public water systems. The money can be used to upgrade facilities and cut down on the amount of pollutants that come through wastewater plants.

Leaders unveiled the no-interest loans in northwest Ohio, where the toxin known as microcystin was discovered at a treatment plant in Toledo.

Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler says the state is using the lessons it learned during the emergency in Toledo to improve water quality in the long run -- and the loans are just part of that process.

"It's a multi-prong problem and it's a multi-pronged approach that just accelerates our issues and our attention to this issue even more," Butler said.

The state also announced a funding program encouraging farmers to install nutrient-reduction equipment on their land. The phosphorus found in fertilizer is a major contributor to algae growth.

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